For the first time in my life, I am writing to and about a grandson who has turned five years old. This happened yesterday while Pa-pa and I were with friends watching the Seattle Seahawks make horsemeat out of Denver in Super Bowl XLVIII.
It was also Groundhog Day, and Pa-pa and I are not very happy with Punxsutawney (yes, I had to look up how to spell that) Phil's prediction that we will have six more weeks of this brutal winter weather. I am glad, though, that we were able to sneak out between Fiascos on Ice to see you last Friday and Saturday and give the occasion of your fifth birthday its proper due even though we had to leave a day early.
Yes, Pa-pa and I bravely entered the Land of Pinkeye to eat lemon cupcakes and shower you with a brand new wardrobe of dress-up clothes. Thanks to Wal-Mart's after-Halloween clearance, you can now streak through the skies of Metropolis in a suit without holes and tatters. Or, if you are in the mood, you can be an Army guy in your camouflage vest instead.
Of all the things in your birthday bag this year, I think I liked the mustaches best. Let's show our friends what I mean:
Earlier this week, the package of seven classic mustaches virtually screamed out my name as I walked nonchalantly by them in a toy store. "Googie, look here!" they hollered. "We belong in Pooh's birthday bag!" With everything in the store going for half-price that day, well, how could I resist?
I know well that the mustaches won't last long. Their adhesive backing will soon lose its stickiness. They will get swept under rugs and lost in the bottom of the toy box. The cat might maul a couple of them. Their play value will not be long-lived, and maybe, in that respect, they were not a good choice on the Scale of Relative Practicality.
But I have noticed that, the older I get, the more I tend to live in the moment and indulge the whim. Just because things don't last doesn't mean they aren't precious. Sometimes it is the very fact that they don't last that makes them precious.
Like the day I spent with you on Saturday. Like your fifth birthday. Like childhood. Like life itself.
I didn't mean to wax philosophical here, Baby Boy, but maybe some day this will make sense to you. In the meantime, just know that when you were five, I wanted for you the happiest of birthdays--and don't tell your sisters, but I think the mustache you picked was the best of the bunch.